New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has admitted his new-look squad will need time to gel but insisted they are ambitious ahead of the start of this season, which begins away to Chelsea on Saturday.

Palace will be missing a number of key players for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson (both Achilles) are long-term absentees while loan signing Conor Gallagher is ineligible to face his parent club.


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Captain Luka Milivojevic will also be absent due to “personal reasons” and Michael Olise, a summer addition from Reading, is out with a back injury.

Vieira, who won three Premier League titles as a player at Arsenal, is looking forward to starting his managerial career in the division, adding: “It is something I always wanted to do, it will be case tomorrow, so I am really excited to manage in the Premier League.”

He added: “Of course the players need time and as a manager to put my ideas in place it may take longer but we are ambitious and want to compete.

“We are in a positive way the fact we started pre-season in a good way, with the way we played those games and the wins, it give us confidence but we know it will be equally challenging.”

On Chelsea: “It will be challenging. They won the Champions League and Super Cup. But the Premier League is challenging, competitive.

“We have self-confidence as a club, as a team and that is going to give ourselves the best chance to go there and compete.”

Palace have a new centre-back partnership this season after the departures of Gary Cahill and Scott Dann.

Joachim Anderson was brought in from Lyon and youngster Marc Guehi joined from Chelsea for a combined fee of around £35million.

When asked if starting with a new partnership of relatively inexperienced players was a concern: “Not really. We made new signings at the back. They are young, yes, but they are talented. I believe they have what it takes to play in the Premier League,” he said.

More signings could be imminent at Selhurst Park according to Vieira: “We are maybe a little light on numbers. Working hard to improve the squad until the window. We are looking to bring in players.

“We are a little short up front and in midfield. It would be good to reinforce those positions.

“Nothing will change. We will try to improve the squad, but nothing will be crazy.”





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